How would an 82-game season affect the Orioles - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

How would an 82-game season affect the Orioles

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

Assuming that there’s an agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players Association, there could be an 82-game season.

The Players Association reportedly has countered MLB’s proposal of a sliding scale with a request for more games. The owners want a regular season that begins early in July and a lengthened postseason that concludes by early November before a possible second wave of the coronavirus hits.

The owners want to make sure to get the postseason in because that’s when they make the most television money.

How would an 82-game season affect the Orioles?

Last season, the Orioles were 24-58 in their first 82 games, and 32-50 in their final 82.

Interestingly, they scored consecutive 13-0 shutouts over Cleveland in games 81 and 82, the first time in baseball history any team had done that. Just before those wins, the Orioles had lost 13 of 14.

Extrapolated over a 162-game season, the 32-50 second half would allow the Orioles to escape 100 losses. The first 82 game record had them on pace for a second consecutive 115-game loss season.

The Orioles ended up with a 54-108 record, a seven-game improvement over 2018, but the second half of the season was far better than the first.

Some of the players’ performances differed dramatically.

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Take catcher Pedro Severino. In the first 82 games, Severino hit .278 with nine home runs and 23 RBIs. He threw out 10 of 27 runners attempting to steal.

Over the second 82 games, he hit just .218 with four home runs and 21 RBIs. Severino threw out just three of 28 runners.

Dwight Smith Jr. hit .254 with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs in the first 82 games, but in the last 82, hit just .211 with two home runs and nine RBIs.

John Means was 7-4 with a 2.50 ERA through June, and for the rest of the season went 5-7 with a 4.65 ERA in July, August and September.

Looking at the bullpen, Paul Fry struggled tremendously, especially in August and September. Through 82 games, Fry was 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA. He finished the season with a 5.34 ERA because of an 8.38 August ERA and a 10.29 ERA in September. Fry lost all six decisions in the last two months of the season. In July, he had a 1.08 ERA.

Then, there were players who did better in the second half. Outfielder Anthony Santander was called up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June and displayed excellent power numbers in July and August. He hit 12 home runs and 34 RBIs then before slumping to a .155 average in September.

Major league evaluators are used to looking at players over a full 162-game season. While Severino and Smith may do better as backups, if they were judged over just the first 82 games last year, the team’s opinion of them might have been different.

With a larger roster and a possible 20-man taxi squad, many pitchers might accumulate far fewer innings pitched than in a normal half-season because teams will err on the side of caution.

But if the Orioles are looking at a new player, how much of an evaluation can be made in a radically shortened season?

Some players were more consistent. Infielder Hanser Alberto was hitting .320 through 82 games, and he was still hitting .320 as late as September 11 before tiring and finishing with a .305 average.

Trey Mancini was hitting .296 through 82 games and finished with a .291 average. Mancini ended the season strongly with a .365 batting average, 23 RBIs and a 1.049 OPS in September.

Minor leaguers getting paid: The Orioles will continue to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week throughout June, an industry source confirmed on Thursday.

The news was first reported by MASNsports.com.

Most major league teams will continue to pay their minor leaguers. The Oakland Athletics have decided not to.

Late last week, the Orioles released 37 minor league players. The most prominent was third baseman Jomar Reyes, who signed with the team as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic for $350,000 in January 2014.

Reyes, who spent the past four seasons at High-A Frederick, and hit .269 in his minor league career, had one at-bat for Double-A Bowie last year.

Preston Palmeiro and Dalton Hoiles, sons of Rafael and Chris, were also among those released. Infielder Sean Miller, a Crofton product who was a Carolina League All-Star last year, was also among those cut.

Question Time: Next week, I’ll be answering questions from readers. You can leave them in the comments section or write to me: [email protected]

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Roenickstein

    May 29, 2020 at 9:02 am

    Hey, I’m just glad the O’s won’t lose 100 games this year. I had forgotten about those consecutive 13-0 victories last season. What a bizarre occurrence that was.

  2. willmiranda

    May 29, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Rich, thanks for keeping this going. One question: How does the shortened season affect incentives in contracts?
    Are they dropped, pro-rated, or what?

  3. DevoTion

    May 29, 2020 at 11:03 am

    I’m wondering if someone were to hit .400 or a starter having a record low era, would those numbers be official or would it have to have an asterisk?

    • CalsPals

      May 29, 2020 at 7:31 pm

      If I had a guess I would say *…go O’s…

  4. NormOs

    May 29, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Severino: Last 82 games – 218 BA threw out just 3 of 28 runners. And he’s still on the team
    Smith: Last 82 gaqmes – 211 BA with 2 Home Runs and 9 RBIs. And he’s still on the team
    Fry Last 82 games – 8.38 August ERA 10.29 Sept ERA Aug/Sept won/loss 0 and 6
    And he’s still on the team

    We sure as hell ain’t going to get any better unless Genius1 can find some MAJOR LEAGUERS somewhere.
    I doubt he’s looking to hard.

    • ClayDal

      May 29, 2020 at 12:59 pm

      Severino is just keeping the position warm until Rutschman shows up. Smith was hitting well until he crashed into a fence and wasn’t the same in the second half. His defense was (is) dreadful. Again he’s just keeping the position warm until Mountcastle or Diaz or whoever is ready. As for Fry, the alternative is Tanner Scott. He’s left handed and he’s breathing.

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 29, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    I am .. or was … looking for Sisco to show up. Everybody seems to forget about this kid, but he still has less than 350 at bats. The boy can swing the bat. Can he catch? Hmmmmmm

  6. OriolesNumber1Fan

    May 29, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Here’s hoping Sisco kid does show up. I just hope he gets enough playing time in this shortened season if there is one in the majors to justify being at the big show. Otherwise, he could just start full time and develop more in the minors. Why waste his service time on the bench. If a position switch is in his future because he can’t move forward at catching then the minors is where he would learn this technique. I hope 2nd base is in his future with the O’s and he would elevate his game there. I think he would really take off there. He wouldn’t have the burden of calling a game with the pitchers and all the other duties of catching as the general on the field.

    • CalsPals

      May 29, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Many of us have been saying 2B for over the last yr, boy wonder knows better, not sure what they have to lose, PLENTY to gain…go O’s…

      • OriolesNumber1Fan

        May 29, 2020 at 8:10 pm

        Sisco kid was a shortstop and pitcher until his senior year in high school. I’ve been saying 3rd base since he was drafted and struggled throughout the Orioles system, but 2nd base might be easier conversion at this point in his career.

    • CalsPals

      May 30, 2020 at 8:11 am

      Great article on Sisco, love to see him up w/O’s, interesting lil blurb about Mountcastle as well, the way things will be, honestly, I’d love to see most of the youngens & give them a shot…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 30, 2020 at 9:16 am

      I’m with you on moving him to another position. Just doesn’t look like he’s a starting quality backstop.

  7. WorldlyView

    May 29, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Returning to Rich’s survey of player performances last year, I don’t think they have any predictive power with regard to performances in a dramatically altered season. IF there is a season (don’t bet your home that there will be), the physical and psychological dynamics will be so unique that past performances will be of little relevance. It literally will be a whole new ballgame. Even if we had a normal season, the O’s starting pitching is so riddled with question marks and unproven arms, that predictions on team performance would be highly suspect–except for predicting a whole lot of losses.

  8. cedar

    May 29, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Rich – my question is how does this year impact the development of someone like Rutschmann who is just starting his career and oppositely someone like Mountcastle who is on the cusp on breaking onto the big league team.

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